Thursday, June 16, 2022

Apple $25 billion, Oil Companies Combined $10 billion Profits

 https://www.powerlineblog.com/archives/2022/06/chart-of-the-week-re-bidens-energy-demagoguery.php

In case you have been affected by the Biden / MSM propaganda. 

The chart is clear, the post is short, just read it and understand what "misinformation" really is. 

Sunday, June 5, 2022

Energy Transitions

https://www.forbes.com/sites/davidblackmon/2022/05/24/biden-says-the-quiet-part-about-the-energy-transition-out-loud/?sh=31000bb05306 

In his dotage, Brandon does have a way of saying what has been official Democrat policy since Jimmy Carter. They have always thought "$10 gas" was a worthy goal to keep us all "safe", lest the boiling oceans kill us all by the year 2000 or so. Accurate predictions have never been the left's strong suit. Truth is also not in their standard reportroir, but when you put a senile geezer in the Bully Pulpit, he sometimes forgets to lie. 

“[When] it comes to the gas prices, we’re going through an incredible transition that is taking place that, God willing, when it’s over, we’ll be stronger and the world will be stronger and less reliant on fossil fuels when this is over,” Biden said. It was a mistake since, although running prices for fossil fuel-generated energy higher has always been part of the plan for Biden’s Green New Deal energy policies, admitting it aloud in public was not supposed to be part of the messaging.

"God willing"? Isn't that hate speech for Democrats? What about separation of Church and State? Isn't it triggering to subject intelligent people to the insane belief in God?  

We already went through a major energy transition  -- in 2019 we were energy independent, If you follow the link, you will see how that came about, but the primary reasons were fracking, the feds allowing drilling for shale oil on federal lands and better pipelines to move the oil to refineries. 

When I graduated from HS in the 1970's, the oil crisis, the 55 MPH speed limit, and the Jimmy "malaise" were all driven by the "fact" that the world was "out of oil".

So how likely is it that this "transition" that Brandon promises can happen? 




The chart is from 2018, and it hasn't changed much since then. 

So getting to Brandon's goals IS possible ... we just need to use nuclear. Is it risk free? No, but it is VERY low risk. France produces 70% of its energy via nuclear. 

The US has 86. nuclear powered ships at sea. How safe are they? 

Thousands upon thousands of people, 22,000 people at any one time, have lived, worked, eaten and slept within a stone’s throw of these nuclear reactors for 60 years with no adverse effects from radiation at all.

So why do we not do the obvious? Politics, money, and the desire by the left to cripple the US. One of the old scare tactics has been "what do we do with the waste"?  There are many tested and safe ways to deal with the waste that you hear nothing about. What you DO hear about is Three Mile Island, Chernobyl, and  Fukushima.

Fukushima had one confirmed cancer death. Chernobyl had around 100 ... however it was well known to be a poorly designed and managed reactor. Three Mile Island had no confirmed deaths caused by the accident. 

The Democrats and the world "environmentalists" have a multi billion dollar long term scam going. If they actually cared about the environment, they would be demanding modern reactors to be built ASAP ... the life of the planet is at stake! Every year a few 100 of the "greens" need to fly in their private jets to sites where they use their limos to get around. Many of them invest millions in estates that they claim will be underwater in a few years, Obama for example ... as he says, "you only need so much money".  It is really worth taking a look at their $10 million+ home. Look at what the Climanistas DO vs what they say.

Were we to have followed a strategy similar to France, our electricity would likely be "too cheap to meter" as was once promised. The pie chart could be "80%" purple, and we could cry about other things than gas and electricity prices -- all with the planet saved. But who is to profit by that? Not the global climate cabal.

In a sensible world, we would use the available coal, natural gas. and oil resources, abetted by pipeline transportation and building new efficient and environmentally friendly refineries to "make the transition" with no pain for the masses, but "unfortunately" fewer trillions for the Davos elite. 

We built ZERO refineries from 1998 - 2014, and the total capacity of the ones built since then is 246,000 barrels. The Saber refinery, built in 1975, processes 290,000 barrels today

All part of the Brandon "Green New Deal" and previous Democrat US energy killing policies going back to the Carter disaster years. Never let a crisis go to waste ... and if there isn't one around, CREATE ONE! Naturally, more government will be the only possible "solution". 









 

Podhoretz, Left To Right

 https://claremontreviewofbooks.com/present-at-the-creation-2/

Podhoretz is yet another well educated super intelligent Jewish American. I have a pro-Jewish prejudice, especially after working with super intelligent and diligent Jews from IBM's Haifa location

Smart is not always wise ... wisdom normally takes making and admitting to mistakes. Intelligence has a tendency to give one more opportunity to do this, and Norman Podhoretz (NP) is a great example. In the early 60's he was one of the founders of the "new left". One with standards of intellectual seriousness.  

Yes. At the time. I was editor of Commentary, and I rejected articles that were ideologically okay but callow. The most notable example was Tom Hayden’s manifesto, which was the founding document of the SDS, Students for a Democratic Society. Hayden submitted the “Port Huron Statement” to me, and I turned it down. And some people, including many of my friends, said, “Are you crazy?” And I replied, “It’s not intellectually up to par.” And they said, “Well, what difference does that make?” Well, it made a difference to me, and still does. So there was a limit to my commitment to that movement, but I was committed to it.

Like the Democratic Party leaving Reagan (vs him leaving it), the New Left left  NP, 

... at some point that analysis and that agenda changed dramatically—let’s say, from Martin Luther King to Stokely Carmichael. Or from David Riesman to Saul Alinsky. Maybe it was 1972, with the bombing of Hanoi, or perhaps earlier when the whole movement turned and said this country was not bad just because it wasn’t fulfilling its own ideals. In fact, it didn’t have such ideals. Those ideals were fake.

Alinsky is a name that shows up quite a bit if you start looking into how the Swamp came to be. Both Hillary Clinton and Obama were heavily influenced by him.  

NP understood and understands that America is in grave peril ... it is led by leaders that hate it. He understood and understands that Trump is a very imperfect vessel of saving America, and often compares him with the imperfect vessel King David. 

In 2019, you told the CRB’s readers that Donald Trump’s election in 2016 was “a kind of miracle,” and you called him “an unworthy vessel chosen by God to save us from the evil on the Left.” And you finished that passage by remarking, “If he doesn’t win in 2020, I would despair of the future.” Now it’s 2022. Trump didn’t win. Are you despairing?

He has this to say about the Founders ... 

They created a system whereby more freedom and more prosperity have been accorded to more people—including blacks—than by any civilization known to human history. That achievement is what puts us up there with Athens and Elizabethan England. That’s why I don’t hesitate to use the word “evil” in talking about the ideas and the people promulgating them who are trying their best to tear that precious system down. The last chapter of My Love Affair with America is called “Dayenu American-style.” Dayenu means “it would have sufficed.” It’s a Hebrew term and at the Passover Seder, there is a whole litany of gratitude to God: If God had only done this, it would have been enough. If he had only done this, it would have been enough. Dayenu, dayenu. So I have a whole series of dayenus about why I love this country so much. So this is where I stand. We all have to face the fact that we are at war, albeit a cold civil war, and that this moment is not just an ordinary political disagreement in which we can be bipartisan, etc., etc. All that, that’s gone. God bless America is all I can say. Amen.

America used to be "dayenu" ... "good enough", which can always be improved upon. The left no longer wants to fix it, it wants to burn it down, and given especially the  "matches" of voter fraud, they may well succeed. 

As I say incessantly, the left and the Democratic Party in particular are completely inconsistent.

I have to say that I am perfectly prepared to believe that the 2020 election may have been stolen. Yet the outraged reaction to anyone who says that or believes that has been absolutely astounding. Because think of Stacey Abrams, whom I regard as a nothing and a no one, lost her bid for the governorship of Georgia by something like 50,000 votes. And to this day, she has refused to concede, and for that refusal she was turned into a hero of the Democratic Party. So, the idea that it’s shocking beyond belief to cast some doubt on the 2020 presidential election is utterly demented. Anyway, the Democratic Party spent two and a half years and 20 billion dollars or whatever it was, trying to prove not just that Trump had stolen the 2016 election, but that he was actually a Russian agent, that is to say a traitor.

How does one negotiate in this conflict? 

In The Red

 https://claremontreviewofbooks.com/in-the-red/

This article sorely deserves to be read in its entirety. It describes the level of financial peril in the US as succinctly and as nonpartisan as is possible. Of course there are aspects of partisanship because we are a two party country -- we need to deal with the problems in that context as marital problems need to be dealt with in a two party solution. Unless the union is to be dissolved.

The first step in avoiding a truly calamitous, debt-ridden future is to understand how we got ourselves into this predicament to begin with. It is not national defense or even the New Deal but rather the Great Society that is bankrupting us.

Sadly, the excellent charts that make our peril painfully clear are not in the digital version linked, so I was forced to go screen capture PDF route, but I think you can get the picture. 



One of the quick responses from the left will be that our problem is that we are undertaxed, not overspent. More government MUST be better! 

A fundamental preliminary question is whether our government taxes too little or spends too much. The answer is easy to determine. In 2021, the federal government collected more than three-and-a-half times as much money, in real dollars per capita—that is, above and beyond inflation and population growth—as it did at the start of the postwar period. But it spent nearly seven times as much. From 1947 (the first postwar fiscal year, as FY 1946 began in July of 1945) through 2021, the population of the United States rose 2.3-fold, while prices rose nearly 13-fold. Combining these two factors, the federal government could have collected and spent 29 times as much in nominal dollars in 2021 as it did in 1947 without collecting or spending any more in real (inflation-adjusted) dollars per capita. Instead, the federal government taxed more than 100 times as much in 2021 as in 1947 and spent almost 200 times as much. By any reasonable standard, our government isn’t afflicted by a shortage of tax revenues but by an almost endless appetite for spending.

Means are always limited, desires are not.  

As the charts show, it matters which party controls the executive and legislative branches. 

Despite this subsequent debt explosion, the Clinton-Gingrich era was a successful one in terms of fiscal responsibility. Indeed, over the past 40 years, deficits have been lowest when a Democrat has been in the White House and Republicans have controlled both houses of Congress. The second-best scenario has been a Republican president with either party controlling both houses of Congress. Next-best has been a Democratic president paired with a mixed Congress (with each party controlling one house), followed by a Republican president paired with a mixed Congress. The worst scenario has been Democratic control of the whole government. Over the past four decades, Democratic control (average deficit of $1.1 trillion in constant 2012 dollars) has been more than twice as costly as Republican control ($490 billion).

It would appear that unless there is massive vote fraud, we may go from the worst to the best case in finances in 2023-2024, however the hole is very deep at this point. Thomas Jefferson described the likely outcome of our financial incontinence. 

Thomas Jefferson described fiscal profligacy as a precursor to inevitable misery and suffering, the first in a stampede of apocalyptic horsemen. “[T]he fore horse of this frightful team is public debt,” he wrote. “Taxation follows that, and in its train wretchedness and oppression.” This wretchedness will only be more keenly felt as interest rates rise. Too much debt puts power in the hands of our enemies and renders the average American poorer every year.
How do we fix it? Pain ... a lot like how anyone "fixes" other cancers if they can fix it at all. In our case, we basically have to return to representative Constitutional  government -- rather than the Administrative/Deep State we are governed by now ... especially since Obama. 
It has become fashionable to think of constitutional amendments as relics from the past. But then, so are fiscal responsibility and—increasingly—representative government. The founders made the Constitution amendable for a reason, and we should take our cues from them. In the late 1990s, we showed—briefly—that it’s possible to take action to reverse our course and help save our country from the tragic fate that Jefferson described. But the first step is to recognize that the $30 trillion elephant in the room isn’t going away. It’s just growing bigger.

I'm thinking our odds are not very good.  



Thursday, June 2, 2022

Nihilism With A Happy Ending

https://spectatorworld.com/topic/monsters-become-nietzsche/

Nietzsche, who died in 1900, called it. Without faith, Christianity became performative, and God a source of inspirational mood boards. Without a living soul or a serious conscience, the human being is no longer an individual but a bag of animal instincts, indistinguishable from the rest of the species. The substitute doctrines of socialism, nationalism and Darwinism offer collective redemption by economics and biology. Technology and capitalism act as force multipliers, accelerating the vortex of futility — even in America, the land that, as Allan Bloom saw, promised ‘nihilism with a happy ending’.

A paragraph that summarizes a lot of my thhouthhs about where we find ourselves. Like a lot of promises in this world, the "happy ending" increasingly looks like a long shot. 

Even with the mention of Nietzsche, it is an easy and worthwhile read. Sometimes "you are here", is not the best of news. 

Monday, May 23, 2022

ACTUALLY Draining the Swamp

https://www.americanthinker.com/articles/2022/05/drain_the_swamp.html

 How to actually drain the swamp even with a Democrat in the WH. Don't fund all the federal agencies under one big "porkulous" bill that nobody reads. String them out, fund the ones we need, don't fund the ones we don't. Separate the wheat from the tares! 

The first task for Republican leadership is to pass “spaghetti appropriations.” That’s right, string them out rather than dumping them all into an omnibus bill. Fund DOJ in its own bill and send that to the Big Guy’s desk. Dare him to veto it. Ditto for State and the military. Don’t allow anything for any other department to creep into each of the bills.

 The article is not that long, it CAN be done!

Saturday, May 21, 2022

Going Under With the Overclass

 https://newcriterion.com/issues/2022/4/going-under-with-the-overclass

Alonng with reading a lot of books, I tend to subscribe to somewhat esoteric periodicals ... to wit, the "New Criterion". One of my many woeful lacks is broader culture ... art, music, poetry, syphon, poetry, etc

I have no illusions of "catching up" at this late date, however, some exposure is at least humbling, and civilization/culture are certainly related. I find the linked article to be a worthwhile summary of our plight is more of an intellectual vs polemic tone. Some excerpts: 

We don’t often hear about the plight of the overclass, but our progressive elites have a problem. They have become too successful, and their success is starting to show poorly. Over the last decades, these elites have experienced the traumas of contemporary life very much in reverse to most Americans. Our difficulties have been their triumphs. Our restrictions have become their liberation. With ever greater efficiency, they have become the creditors to our debts, the marketers of our drugs, the title-holders of our homes, and the sellers of the fruits of our industry. They have risen as many others have fallen. They are good at what they do, and for this they have been handsomely rewarded. No one would deny a payment for a job well done. Yet these victories have demanded ever greater tribute from the vanquished. Progressive elites have taken their successes out on the rest of us.

From later in the article":  

“There has always been a privileged class,” said Lasch, “even in America, but it has never been so dangerously isolated from its surroundings.” Contempt now replaces elite obligation and noblesse oblige. “Simultaneously arrogant and insecure,” Lasch wrote, “the new elites regard the masses with mingled scorn and apprehension.” They now despise their countrymen, especially those who do not pay tribute to their superiority. Meanwhile, “ ‘Middle America’—a term that has both geographical and social implications—has come to symbolize everything that stands in the way of progress: ‘family values,’ mindless patriotism, religious fundamentalism, racism, homophobia, retrograde views of women.”

While "wealth" isn't all it is cracked up to be since it is short, often painful (meaningless, guilty, ageing, physical ailments, loss of loved ones, etc), it does however tend to isolate and give a view of "power" that can lead to finding out that the elites heads can be removed too. 

 

Twenty-five years ago, at the time of Lasch’s writing, America’s richest 20 percent controlled half of the country’s wealth. As of 2021, the top 10 percent control 70 percent of the country’s wealth. The top 1 percent alone controls nearly a third of the country’s wealth. The top 50 percent hold 98 percent of the wealth. That leaves the bottom 50 percent with but 2 percent, a division that has only grown more stark through the pandemic as inflation, crime, and learning loss now add to the disruption.

Way back in 2017, I wrote on 8 billionaires that owned half of the world wealth. At that point, they all met yearly in Davos Switzerland, and I'm quite certain that they and the new class of same continue to meet virtually, What could say "10" men that own by now well over half of the total wealth of the world. In this age where power is "ethics", what might they do? We are relying on their godless "morality" to not take severe actions to remove any threat from the "deplorables",  

If you applaud the killing of over 60 million babies and are willing to support violence to prevent a SCOTUS from putting even minor limits on your "right to death", where might you boudareies be? 

Would engineering a global pandemic that killed millions of elderly (they can be expensive to keep alive) cratered the economy of the lower class, allowed you to remove your greatest threat (Trump), while enriching you with further billions of dollars be beyond your "morality" ? 

The whole article is well worth the read. 

Thursday, May 12, 2022

Nonzero

 https://archive.nytimes.com/www.nytimes.com/books/00/01/30/reviews/000130.30conwayt.html

The opening statement of the review is: 

To believe the universe is embedded in a teleological matrix -- an overarching design that houses an implicit and eventual end point, with the human race having a transcendental destiny in which shopping is unlikely to play any part -- is widely regarded as a quaint delusion, of relevance only to religious fanatics, pastoralists in retreat from materialism and the mad. And yet here is Robert Wright, who patently falls into none of these categories, arguing that human history is not ''one damn thing after another,'' but has a direction, purpose and, by implication, a goal. To be sure, in his scheme shopping is not necessarily excluded, but ''Nonzero'' remains a book of potentially major significance.

Before you begin, it may be good to take a look at "The Prisoner's Dilemma" if you need a refresher., on that rather famous example of the potential for nonzero interaction ,,, it is one of the foundations of the books arguments. 

If there can be communication between the prisoners (not allowed in the classic Prisoners Dilemma), then the "right" solution becomes just staying mum, which benefits both with a lesser sentence. Of course, even with communication, there is always the question of cheating. Which is why at least the "concern" of an all powerful God and ultimate judgement might lower the odds of cheating somewhat ... and thus show why that idea may be temporally adaptive at a minimum, even if it isn't eternally of ultimate import. 

This book goes into a lot of discussion on essentially this in the context of biological evolution, and cultural evolution ... either of which, you may or may not believe in, but the ultimate question is "does the universe have a "direction/purpose", therefore meaning? Easy to understand why I slogged through it -- it is another case where meaning might be understood , bur wistfully without with A LOT less discussion of various tribes, slime mold, etc. -- sadly, there was a lot of "slime" in an effort to show how there might  just be the illusion of teleology provided by the dogma of natural selection without  "being" defining that teleology. (random teleology)

While the author courageously states the thesis of the book up front, he seems intent to obfuscate the obvious as he moves through it. The thesis:

The more closely we examine the drift of biological evolution and, especially, the drift of human history, the more there seems to be a point to it all. Because in neither case is “drift” really the right word. Both of these processes have a direction, an arrow. At least, that is the thesis of this book.

An "arrow" would tend to indicate an "archer" ... one with universal power to create a purpose, a direction for all of biological and human cultural  -- "progress". The more we learn, the "comforting" idea that this is all one huge purposeless random accident seems less likely. (see "Purpose and Desire") This comes dangerously close to indicating a "god".  The author hedges this bet any way he can ... even the "seeded by a more advanced civilization" ... a classic case of kicking the can down the road. Although post "The Matrix" and Elon Musk theory that "we are living in a simulation" , a technological "kick the can" seems more "high tech". Whose "computer" might the simulated "us" be running on?, and how did the builder(s) of that "computer" come to be? The can of "why" rolls on. Did they have a "random impulse" to seed new life around the universe? 

The NY Times puts it thusly: 

The central problem is, will we inherit a world worth having and will it have any meaning? Wright has an almost unlimited faith in the power of ''information.'' For him it will be the magic glue to bind all humanity, and the Internet will be the actual realization of Teilhard de Chardin's famous, and famously fuzzy, idea of a global mentality, the noosphere. But how this will happen is equally hazy. It is perhaps ironic that when Wright comes to speculate on consciousness, he declares himself flummoxed; yet, in principle, is the tangle of neurons that makes up our brain any different from the spreading electronic Web? For those wedded to materialism, presumably not, and to refer to ''the mystery of consciousness'' will be dismissed as a monumental evasion. It may be, of course, that a mysterious unfolding will occur whereby on a given date and time every computer in the world simultaneously prints out the electronic equivalent of the Code of Hammurabi. However desirable (or undesirable) such a ''world brain'' might be, the philosophical underpinnings of this adventure seem deeply suspect.

Materialists have an extreme problem with "why"? Why is there anything? Why does there seem to be a "conscious ME, that is asking this question"? Why would I ask if I am just "stuff"? If there is a "me", do I have any free will? Was the fact that I asked this question wired into the Big Bang, and thus determined "forever" at least in the context of our 4 billion or so "old" universe. It is a bit hard to pull any firm position out of this book ... probably because Mr Wright does not want to be seen to be  cosmically wrong and stupid in the today's godless materialist nihilist world. 

Of course, one difficulty with pinning any hopes on religion is its much-discussed ongoing erosion at the hands of science, an erosion that is one alleged source of modern and postmodern nihilism and ennui. But one point of this book has been to challenge the conventional belief that science really has dispelled deep mystery and all evidence of purpose

One of the reasons that book spends so much time on primitive cultures is that it wants to make CERTAIN that there is absolutely no connection between the fact of Western civilization seeming to "win" the race to modernity, and the  Judeo/Christian underpinnings of the culture. He does realize that the issue of trust, and dealing with free riders is critical, and an all powerful God knowing all you do can be arestricition to  both cheaters/liars and sluggards. 

Somehow, this fear of being cheated must be overcome for things to work out well.

Although ignored in this book (other than to claim it is racist/eurocentric), it is hard to miss the idea of an all knowing God that will insure ultimate justice as a goad to establishing something like "thou shalt not bear false witness". Laws are a nice adjunct to that,  but it is nice to have it built into the wetware. 

Randomness has increasingly fallen on hard times figuring out how even ONE ordered cell showed up in the primordial soup (and God knows they have tried A LOT of things). In the 1970's, it was assumed that once we could map the Genome, it would be "easy" ... kinda like AI. It turns out that mapping the genome just helped open the truth that randomness in a single universe had mathematical odds of getting to where we are on the order of 10 to the 100th against. Math's way of saying NO. So materialists have moved to the "many worlds theory" ... perhaps there are 10 to the 100th universes, and we are just EXTREMELY lucky, which would explain why the scientific "near certainty" that the SETI project would observe proof of many intelligent, radio and other emissions indicating we were far from alone in our universe, "soon"  ,,, those hopes have had to be extended. 

"Purpose and Desire" is an easier read, and I think more convincing indication of there being something more than mere matter in operation. 


Saturday, May 7, 2022

After Birth Abortion

 https://www.nationalreview.com/corner/now-a-california-bill-to-permit-infant-death-by-neglect/

People are busy and distracted these days, so what happens if you really wanted to kill your baby, but just didn't get around to it? As long as  murder in some states right up to the point the baby is coming out of the birth canal, why would anyone be so cruel to force a woman to care for a screaming, demanding baby until it can survive on its own?  When the comfort and convenience of women is your prime goal and you have no set of fixed moral values, why not? 

Thankfully,  the "progressives" are working hard to help you get rid of this inconvenient oversight. 

A little while ago I highlighted a shocking Maryland bill that would essentially decriminalize neglecting an infant to death in the “perinatal” period — i.e., through the first 28 days after birth — by preventing investigations and prosecution of such deaths that resulted from “a failure to act.”

Shocking? Let's face it, all life is "tissue", why be restricted by any arbitrary distinction like "birth"? We don't even know what a women is,  it MAY be a "birthing person",  midwives are being taught how to deliver a baby from a biological man. (I would prefer not to know the details of how this might be done)

The thing about "progressivism" is that it MUST "progress", or it would no longer be a valid ideology.  As with gay "marriage", Democrats will proclaim loudly that killing babies in the first 6 weeks or so is is "just talk",  it will NEVER happen. You can trust them. 

Here are BO and Hillary in 2008.






So post birth "abortion" up to 6 weeks is under consideration. It's simple progress! If you support and even celebrate the killing of 60 million plus in the mother's womb, why not kill them 6 weeks after birth? Moloch has always liked to hear some screams as humans are sacrificed on his alaer -- the post born will be even more to his liking. 

Even if the unconstitutional horror of Roe is overturned, that just sends it back to the states. The blue states may well have "kill your kid" trips with federal funding (age is really hard to determine)  -- or maybe greenies will just fund it. Kids are bad for the environment after all, and we have a planet to save while we enjoy cocktails and maybe a few underage children and our beachfront palaces. Jeffrey Epstein, Prince Andrew, Bill Gates, etc have already shown us how that works. 


This quote is a bit off since Nazi Stands for "National Socialist", but the progression is what is important. 
First they came for the socialists, and I did not speak out—because I was not a socialist.

Then they came for the trade unionists, and I did not speak out— because I was not a trade unionist.

Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out—because I was not a Jew.

Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me.
I'd rewrite it today as: 
First they came for the babies in the womb, but I was born so I did not speak out. 

Then they came for the recently born, but I was an adult, so I did not speak out. 

Then they came for those who stood up for any sort of morality, so I did not speak out. 

Then they came for the Christians, and I decided I was not a Christian. 
As Christians, we are to be faithful even unto death. Might it not behoove us to stand up a bit earlier? Is there NOTHING that shocks us enough to get angry and ACTIVE! 

Rest assured, the Democrats are set to go to GREAT lengths to protect their sacrament of abortion ... they are already encouraging violence by publishing the addresses of SCOTUS justices likely to return the country to a Constitutional Republic (prior to Unconstitutional Roe). The beat goes on ... packing the court, abolishing the Filibuster, etc ... so far they haven't murdered Clarence Thomas, but it would not surprise me at all. 

Is there any point where Christians and people who have any idea of morality declare NO MORE, or at least "This Far and No Farther"?  



Wednesday, April 27, 2022

Reasonable, Rational, Elon Musk

I ran into this wonderful quote from Benjamin Franklin;
"So convenient a thing it is to be a reasonable creature, since it enables one to find or make a reason for every thing one has a mind to do."
Reason and rationality are bosom buddies.

There are a lot of quotes that essentially say "Man is not a rational animal, but rather a RATIONALIZING animal". Jonathan Haidt covers this extremely well in his book "The Righteous Mind". He uses an excellent elephant and rider for conscious/unconscious brain that explains an important part of our nature very well.

I love this quote from Blaise Pascal: 
"There are two kinds of people one can call reasonable: those who serve God with all their heart because they know him, and those who seek him with all their heart because they do not know him."

We all have our own "god" -- that which we perceive to be the highest good. Wealth, fame, sexual gratification, family, true love, winning the Super Bowl, etc . 

Realizing what our god really is can be quite difficult. I was a Christian for a long time before I realized that while I claimed (and believed) that I worshipped the one true God, my life showed that career, security, and money were really my god. 

Fortunately, even though I had the mistaken idea I had found him, he found me by Grace.

I throw this one in from Bertrand Russell, because I think it is a good bookend to the Franklin quote I started with. 

“It has been said that man is a rational animal. All my life I have been searching for evidence which could support this.”
― Bertrand Russell

For each of us,  reason and rational are something we think we know when we see it. Like Potter Stewart in Jacobellis vs Ohio, 

“I have reached the conclusion . . . that under the First and Fourteenth Amendments criminal laws in this area are constitutionally limited to hard-core pornography. I shall not today attempt further to define the kinds of material I understand to be embraced within that shorthand description; and perhaps I could never succeed in intelligibly doing so. But I know it when I see it, and the motion picture involved in this case is not that.”

For those who believe that science can answer everything, please show me an algorithm that could be used to define "hard core pornography", or admit that it is "in the eye of the beholder", therefore, subjective rather than objective. 

The reason I went off on this little excursion is because I find many people in life and especially on Twitter or other media, declaring that some opinion/person is "unreasonable, irrational, etc". Like most labels ... "that is a conspiracy theory", "that is crazy", etc, such labels don't move our understanding of whatever issue is being discussed forward. 

The Socratic method is much more productive. 

Can you tell me a little more about why you believe that? 

Well ... not always.